Yannick Nnouka is set to make his professional debut at Almighty Fighting Championship 26 on June 25th, and has his goals set on Cage Warriors towards the end of the year.
Nnouka leaves the amateur circuit in good stance, winning his last three bouts and acquiring a record of (3-2). The SBG South Shields fighter meets Italian native Mattia Belluomini on the night, and will be hopeful getting the first win on the board.
We had the opportunity to catch up with Yannick ahead of his fight to get this thoughts. Read the full exclusive interview below.
Interview With Yannick Nnouka
June 25th, you make your professional debut at Almighty FC 26. Just talk to me about preparation ahead of fight night? Has your training altered in any way with it being in the pro-ranks?
My preparation has been good, like always. We did focus more on the mental preparation of the fight while continuing with our usual fight camp training.
It’s a big decision to leap the professional circuit, but also extremely exciting. What did the discussion look like between you and your coaches, and why do you feel the time is right?
I always feel like everything comes in its time. Everything happens for a reason. I’m glad to have a very clever coach who caress about me in all aspects. So a lot of his decisions about my career feel right. I’m not excited about getting to the professional fight. The thing I’m looking forward to the most is being able to use all the moves I was unable to use as an amateur.
Yannick Nnouka Talks Amateur Career
You began your amateur career not so long ago, in 2019, in fact. Your first two bouts didn’t seem to go your way. At that point, it would have been easy to walk away and give up on the sport. With that being said, you dug deep and picked up three wins on the bounce after that. Was there any doubt when faced with the two losses, and what do you feel clicked for the outcomes to fall in your favour?
Nothing ever came easy for me for the first time in my life. I always have to struggle first. I feel like it’s a ritual for things to start that way. But after I picked up and I found out about the rules and how to deal with the environment that I’m in, I became a specimen that you won’t find a name to describe.
On the topic of your amateur career. What do you feel is the biggest lesson you learnt from that stage of your career that you feel will benefit you now joining the big leagues.
During my amateur career, I realised how dangerous the sport was, and it’s very important to do less mistakes as possible during a long journey.
Taking the Leap to the Pro Ranks
For you personally, what is the most exciting thing for you about fighting as a professional? What do you look forward to the most?
The most exciting thing for me about professional fighting is being able to make any part of my body as a weapon and be able to use it in any different situation. I look forward to being present in any second of the fight, and this is my main goal.
I like to ask fighters I have never spoken to before about their journey into the sport and why it’s a sport they decided to try out. Do you have any interesting stories in that aspect?
I’m coming from the background of Sambo and Judo, which for me are the very complete martial arts and are the foundation of my training. So for me coming to MMA is to show to myself, my students and the people that follow me that we can adapt to all forms of martial arts and become an all-round fighter.
On the night, you meet Italian fighter, Mattia Belluomini. There isn’t much information out there on your opponent, except his professional debut, which he lost. What do you know about your opponent, if anything? Due to the fact that you can’t gather much data on Mattia, does that make it more difficult to prepare?
I don’t know much about my opponent, but it doesn’t change anything for me. I will be present in every second of the fight and adapt my skills as I need to pick him apart in each aspect of the fight.
We love the nickname. Tell us a bit about that and where that came from?
Black Spider: The colour Black brings out the mystery side of me. At some point during the activity, my body is able to do so many different things, and different aspects of me come out, which is a trait not all possess. The Spider is not an animal or an insect. It’s what you call arachnids. With eight legs, the way it’s chasing its prey is amazing. It chases its prey and always has a trap as a plan B which is the Web, in case he doesn’t catch the chase.
What Can Fans Expect?
For people who have never watched you fight before, tell us, what can we expect to see from Yannick Nnouka in his pro-debut? Why should we tune in?
Yannick Nnouka is a process, and just by following me from where I start, it’s very interesting and exciting, so missing the fight will be like missing a part of the movie. Something that you don’t want to miss. I’m improving more and more as the time is going. Expect to see a karate movie, with all aspects of the fight represented on a high level.
Lastly, you kick off your 2022 going (1-0). What is your ideal end to the year? Have you thought that far ahead?
My ideal end of the year will be to have many wins and get into Cage Warriors.
Featured image credits to Olympus FC